What is Wilson’s Disease?
Wilson’s Disease is a genetic disorder that occurs when a person inherits certain genes that lead to an over-accumulation of copper in the body. Wilson’s Disease is also occasionally referred to as hepatolenticular degeneration Wilson’s Disease is not common, only affecting about one in 30,000 people in most populations.
Copper is the key component of Wilson’s Disease due to the fact that those who have it are not eliminating it properly. It begins building up very shortly after you’re born, and it is maintained as a healthy vitamin in the body. Normally, copper is very beneficial due to the fact that it is highly conducive to having health nerves, collagen, proper skin pigment melanin regulation, and strong bones. Copper is frequently absorbed through the food you eat, and the residual amount that isn’t needed is eliminated through the excretion of bile from the liver.
Signs and Symptoms
Most people have a slight excess of copper in their body already, but things can particularly dangerous when too much of it isn’t being properly eliminated; these complications manifest in many different parts of the body and can significantly impair cognitive and motor functions. Most of the symptoms of Wilson’s Disease manifest in the brain and liver. Oftentimes, liver disease and neurological complications are the most prominent signs of a potential case of Wilsons. Those who exhibit issues with their liver are far more likely to be preemptively diagnosed with Wilsons than those who exhibit the neuropsychiatric problems. Children and young adults are more likely to exhibit symptoms related to the liver, while those who are in their twenties or older are going to more often experience the neuropsychiatric issues early on. In some cases, a Wilsons may be hereditary and more easily identified if the person with symptoms has a family member that has suffered from it in the past.
A liver disorder occurs when it is compromised to the point at which it cannot properly release all of the copper that a person absorbs through their food. Those who have the liver disease symptoms are frequently going to report that they feel a significant lack of energy compared to how much they usually have. In other cases, a person with liver disease may experience excessive bleeding or portal hypertension. Portal hypertension is a particularly urgent symptom to treat proactively, as it can become life-threatening very quickly if there’s a wealth of bleeding in the esophagus. Liver complications could also result in the inflammation of the spleen and flooding of the abdominal cavity with excess fluid.
Those with neuropsychiatric symptoms compose about half of the people who are ever diagnosed with Wilson’s disease. The most frequently occurring sign of a neuropsychiatric symptom is the feeling of being extremely addled and uncoordinated; in a sense, these symptoms strongly resemble a general state of delirium. Is it important that these symptoms are treated promptly, as they are far more potentially fatal and easily misdiagnosed than the symptoms arising as a result of liver affliction. Seizures, migraines, bodily tremors and odd gesticulations are all potentially signs of a neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Wilson’s Disease can’t be treated as easily as the common cold or a fever. Generally, the treatment is lifelong is and aided by drugs meant to more properly regulate the liver’s expulsion of excess copper. While Wilson’s Disease can be very dire in its symptoms’ most harsh manifestations, most who have it, when treated, go on to live relatively normal lives.